In a tragic incident, an explosion at a fireworks factory located in the Duttapukur area of West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district resulted in the loss of at least seven lives and left several individuals injured. Fire brigade officials, who rushed to the scene, reported that the explosion was of such force that it caused damage to several surrounding buildings.
Local witnesses recounted that the blast occurred within a two-story house at approximately 10:40 a.m. in the Nilgunj locality of Duttapukur. Concerningly, it has come to light that the factory was operating from the house without proper authorization, violating legal protocols.
Rathin Ghosh, a representative of the region in the state’s legislative assembly and also the food minister, conveyed information received from the police regarding the tragic event. He stated that the law enforcement officers indicated that seven to eight individuals had lost their lives, while around six others sustained injuries.
“The district police officials informed me that seven or eight people have tragically lost their lives and five to six others are grappling with injuries. I am planning to visit the incident site. The explosion occurred in a building where firecrackers were being stored. This location was not involved in the manufacturing of the firecrackers; rather, the primary production center was situated in the Narayanpur area of Nilgunj, which is distant from this site. Police had already taken measures to shut down all cracker units at Narayanpur,” Ghosh elaborated during his interaction with the media.
This unfortunate occurrence adds to a series of similar events that have transpired in West Bengal recently. In May, a fireworks factory explosion in the Midnapore district’s Egra claimed nine lives and caused injuries to seven individuals. Notably, a few of the deceased were women. Similarly, another incident in May resulted in the deaths of three individuals due to an explosion at an illegal firecracker manufacturing unit situated within a residential locality in the South 24 Parganas district.
The state government has been prompted to respond to these occurrences with policy measures. In light of multiple explosions, the administration has established regulations stipulating that fireworks manufacturing can take place exclusively within designated industrial hubs. Steps have already been initiated to establish these hubs.
Acknowledging the gravity of the situation, the West Bengal government formed a committee led by the state’s chief secretary in May to investigate such illicit units and devise appropriate measures to prevent their operation.